News | 10:24 pm | December 2, 2009 | By Vivian Yee

Police seek DNA from Clark’s fiancée

Raymond Clark III seen exiting the New Haven Superior Court in September.
Raymond Clark III seen exiting the New Haven Superior Court in September. Photo by Vivian Yee.

Update: 10:24 p.m. Investigators for the murder of Annie Le GRD ’13 are now seeking a DNA sample from the fiancée of suspect Raymond Clark III, her attorney said Wednesday night.

The attorney, Robert Berke, said that although he was told in September that his client, Jennifer Hromadka, was not a suspect, it is unclear why authorities now want the DNA. He added that investigators wanted to interview Hromadka shortly after Le’s murder but ultimately could not. He declined further comment.

It could not be immediately determined Wednesday night whether the authorities will file a search warrant for the DNA sample.

Court documents released today show that police found blood stains in Clark’s apartment. The 80 pages of search and seizure warrants track police progress as they investigated Le’s Sept. 8 disappearance, detailing their search of 10 Amistad St., the Yale laboratory building where police found Le’s body, as well as Clark’s Middletown, Conn., apartment and his car.

According to the documents, police also gathered evidence even after Clark’s Sept. 17 arrest, seizing his cell phone records. Despite the documents’ new revelations, a motive remains unclear.

In addition to finding blood stains “in plain view” on the kitchen floor in Clark’s apartment, police discovered a pair of bloody white Converse sneakers, stained hospital scrubs and a dark garbage bag in Clark’s red 2000 Ford Mustang , according to the warrants.

In Clark’s apartment, police seized numerous items of clothing and a bait box containing fishing supplies. The warrants offer no explanation for the seizure of the bait box, though police also found a Walmart receipt for fishing supplies in Clark’s Ford and a backpack with more fishing supplies in 10 Amistad.

Le’s e-mail address was found inside a locker, labeled “RAY,” in the basement of 10 Amistad, the documents show. According to one warrant, when Le’s body was discovered in the basement on Sept. 13, the corpse was covered in pieces of insulation arranged to conceal it.

The warrants also trace Clark’s activity after he left 10 Amistad just before 4 p.m. on Sept. 8. After sitting briefly at a table on the corner of Congress Avenue and Cedar Street, Clark entered the nearby Cappuccino’s & More café and left a few minutes later with two women — his fiancée, Jennifer Hromadka, also a Yale lab technician, and an unidentified woman. The three left for Clark’s apartment in a 1999 red Ford Taurus, with the unknown woman driving, Clark in the passenger seat and Hromadka in the back. Police later searched the Taurus and found bloodstained evidence.

FBI agents also subpoenaed cell phone records from Clark’s AT&T Blackberry as early as Sept. 12, before Le’s body was found, the warrants show. Police seized the phone at the beginning of October.

From Sept. 20 to 23, night sanitation workers at 10 Amistad found rags, tweezers, scissors and a screwdriver, among other items, deliberately placed in a clogged drain pipe, according to the documents.

Though video surveillance showed Clark wearing a black jacket with white stripes, a black T-shirt and jeans on the day of Le’s disappearance, police were unable to find any of these items of clothing.

On Nov. 6, New Haven Superior Court Judge Roland Fasano ordered the release of court documents relating to the case, including the search and seizure warrants unsealed today. Although the arrest warrants were released Nov. 13, state prosecutors blocked the release of the search warrants until today.

After Le’s body was found hidden behind a wall in the basement of the Yale research building at 10 Amistad St., Clark was arrested Sept. 17 and charged with her murder.

Clark is being held at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, Conn., on $3 million bond. He has not yet entered a plea, and is due back in court Dec. 21.

Comments
  • Hmm…

    May I be among the first to say, “Uh oh…”?

    “Clark … left a few minutes later with two women — his fiancée, Jennifer Hromadka, also a Yale lab technician, and an unidentified woman… in a 1999 red Ford Taurus…. Police later searched the Taurus and found bloodstained evidence.”

    I say again: Uh oh.

  • Raymond – Man Up

    The police via a vast amount of evidence have Raymond seem to have him by the short hairs. However, his Public Defender will try to have as much evidence thrown out for a one of a number of reasons as “inadmissible…” I’d say give him a choice right now, man up and tell what happened and receive life in prison without the possibility of parole, or face the death penalty if he pushes this case to court. For the death penalty to be applied in CT, he must have committed capital murder “and” kidnapped the individual (held he or she against their will.) Kidnapping is not strongly defined in CT law, so one could argue that Le was definitely held against her will for a period of time before she was murdered. If I were the prosecutors, I’d be going for the death penalty on this one if it goes to court even though the death penalty has not been applied in CT for a long time…

  • joey

    On a hunch and to play “Devils Advocate”
    i stated ,”maybe he did’nt do it”, and /or “they got the wrong guy”
    Not, so not.
    I’m happy to be proven wrong.

    I wonder if this killer / suspect was buying fishing supplies as a ruse to dump her body in the sound or branford river ?
    i wish his two female accomplices will spill the beans.
    And yes please man up to what you did there Mr. Ray. Or is that not the nature of the Rat ?

    Ya know another thing is . that i saw tis Annie Le at a Yale transit stop in East Rock , walked way and then glanced back and she was gone. I thought i saw a red car around but maybe she jumped on the bus or was obscured by a telephone pole or another passenger to be.

    Maybe ask the fellow students and lab workers if she ever accepted a ride from a co-worker ?

  • Hmm, indeed

    Dovetailing “Hmm’s” comment above (Post #1), I seem to recall a news article about Clark’s fiancee posting something cryptic or unusual on Facebook or another social networking site following Le’s murder. Something to the effect of [people keeping their mouth’s shut/getting what they deserve, or something equally as strange and unsettling. Does anyone else recall that?

    I hope the police are taking a closer look at the two women as well! Their cellphone records, social website posts, etc. Timing and proximity would suggest that they may know much more than they are telling. Who knows: They may have helped him dispose of his missing articles of clothing that police mention in the article.

    Such a sad case! So many potential motives coursing through my head.

  • edgewood ogres

    This reminds me of another rat posse. That at your old police station on Park street. Same ole shame old

  • lee troup

    To #4

    the following is from a story on the AP wire in mid-September–

    “Clark and his fiancee, Jennifer Hromadka, were both animal research technicians in the lab where Le worked.

    Hromadka wrote on her MySpace page that she’s not perfect, but cautioned people not to judge her.

    “Who are you to judge the life I live? I know I’m not perfect and I don’t live to be, but before you start pointing fingers make sure your hands are clean!!” the 23-year-old wrote.

    The date of the MySpace posting is unclear. The page has since been taken down.”

    —–

    A search with her name and New York Daily News will reveal a story about the fiancee taking up for Clark on the Web a year before.

  • lee troup

    I meant to add that I recall in a Web news story somewhere that Clark had(has?)a relative or otherwise-connected person who also works in the lab or at least the building.

    (So, if you’re thinking what I’m thinking: as of today’s revelations, more characters are probably going to enter the story.)

  • @#1

    It was reported by YDN that Clark’s fiancée and brother-in-law were all allowed back to work at the same building where Annie Le was murdered.
    I say Uh oh.

  • Hmm…

    Fishing supplies, one might infer, were to be used to retrieve the green pen (recall he allegedly used bubble gum for that trick).

    Oh, and joey: go easy on the ecstasy, huh?

  • Helen Li

    Several items of interest:
    1) Berke, the female’s attorney, said that prosecutor wanted to interview his client right after the arrest of the alleged killer, but “could not.” Why? Was she claiming “emotional stress” and produced a doctor’s note to refrain from being questioned? She lived with the suspect; she must have noticed something irregular in his behavior and moods. And now we know she actually met up with him right after he left the building at 4 p.m. on the day Annie was killed. Not very unlikely if the suspect had wanted to keep the dark secret to himself at all cost, was it?

    2) Why did he keep fishing equipment in his place of work? Why did he not clean up his own house while being seen to obsessively scrubbing up the lab in the days after the murder? Why did he leave blood stained sneakers and such in his home? Was it a case of overweening arrogance by a psychopath who revelled in keeping “trophies” of his crime (which is not unusual in the annals of depravity?)

    3) There were so many items found in the blocked drain, and as previously reported, in the ceiling of the basement that are potentially dammning evidences. This psychopath knew the building like the back of his hand and treated it like his fiefdom, so he probably thought he could keep those articles there safely before he had a chance to remove them.

    4) Where were the dark jacket with white stripes, dark T shirt and jeans the suspect was wearing on September 8? He left the building on that day in different clothes. Did he meet up with the Hromadka and the other female to dispose of the clothes?

    Great reporting.

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